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Hello & Welcome to I.B!

I believe in personal freedom. Financial freedom. I believe in being able to lead your life responsibly. Don't settle for the rat race. This includes schooling, jobs, the things you buy, and everything that keeps you in meaningless motion.

This blog is about a compilation of insights that will help you see differently so that you can do differently. It will change the way you perceive life. It will amplify your perspective and improve the quality of your decisions.

The Truth About the Rat Race

What is the rat race?

The rat race is a metaphor in finance that illustrates the pointless pursuit to achieve some degree of financial independence, like rats in a maze that never quite make it to the cheese. Popularized by Robert Kiyosaki with his board game Cashflow and his many books, the concept became a concrete way to showcase how we can be financially trapped as the obligations in life keep exceeding what we earn, despite our persistent hard work. Read more!

Understanding What Real Risk Is (And How to Manage It)

A lesson from the Sonoran Desert.

The Sonoran Desert is home to powerful cactilike the Saguaro and the Cardon Gigante which are the tallest and largest cacti in North America. Did you know that the Cardon Gigante can even grow without soil on bare rock? The Cardon Gigante can withstand temperatures of up to 50°C (122 F)! On the other hand, the Saguaro flourishes during the summer due to its “thick waxy coating that waterproofs” it. All cacti are impressive. Just as the Black Spruce thrives in the tundra, these cacti thrive in the desert. Read more!

Restrictions: Resources and Time

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”Robert Kiyosaki

In life, there are all sorts of restrictions. There’s federal laws, state laws, cultural norms, and every organization has its own set of rules. We are restricted (positively mostly) by these laws and restrictions. In art, we’re restricted by the canvas, in photography by the frame, and in chess by its rules. Useful restrictions and rules help keep systems from falling apart. Furthermore, they become the source of creativity. But what about money? Do we really see money as a restriction? Do we get creative around it? Or are we passive (and mostly unconscious) about it? Also, who restricts it? Without a doubt, restrictions of resources and time dictate much of how we go about life. Read more!

Marriage and Life

What marriage has to teach us about life.

Marriage has been under pressure. I hear a lot of stories about why some people don’t need the government or church involved in their relationships. Comments range from: “I’m spiritual, but not religious” to “I don’t need anyone or anything to show how committed I am.” It’s also no surprise that the overall rate of divorce is quite high. A good amount of people prefer open relationships, cohabitation, etc. I hear some arguments that monogamy isn’t biological. Read more!

What is Excellence?

What is excellence? What does it mean to you? Excellence is not about being perfect. It is a value: a state of ownership in your work and a mark of your craft. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, excellence is sacrificed for speedy work and quick profits. Quantity over quality. I’d argue that excellence is no longer a priority. But why not? Do we perceive it as something too idealistic? Are we afraid to fail or to fall short? Perhaps it’s simply because we don’t really know what excellence is and how we can achieve it. Consider the following poem by Marge Piercy: Read more!

What is Leadership?

“May I stress the need for courageous, intelligent, and dedicated leadership… Leaders of sound integrity. Leaders not in love with publicity, but in love with justice. Leaders not in love with money, but in love with humanity. Leaders who can subject their particular egos to the greatness of the cause.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

What is leadership? There’s so many takes on it. It is a vague concept. But I think most of us know what it looks like when we experience good leadership. Here’s a story:

Read more!

9 Industrial Engineering Principles You Can Apply to Your Life

All fields of engineering are not only valuable but interesting. However, Industrial Engineering is perhaps the least understood. It’s never quite clear what one does. It’s an essential field that glues it all together, kind of like a liaison between engineering fields, business, and life. Most importantly, Industrial Engineering has many skills that you can directly apply to your life without getting too technical and can serve as guiding principles. Let’s explore these 9 Industrial Engineering principles: Read more!

Parenting and Life 2

Parenting has kept me in awe. To become a dad or a mom is profound. It’s difficult to explain. It’s a series of feelings you can hardly imagine before you become a parent. When you become one, it is such an honor, it’s so beautiful and permanent. Not only at birth, but ever after there’s a constant flood of feelings, learning, and challenges. And this leads me to ask the questions: What does it mean to be a parent? What is my role or duty as a dad? Read more!

How to Be More Confident

The 3 C’s to build more confidence

At a seminar, I once heard that knowledge can be divided in three ways: the things that you know that you know, what you know that you don’t know, and what you don’t know that you don’t know. We can definitely feel very confident in certain areas but not so much in others. Naturally, the more we know about a specific domain, the more confident we feel about it. Read more!

Character Over Skills

Why character matters most

Finding out how to develop skills, face setbacks, and continue learning is always both interesting and intriguing. However, I’ve noticed with time that character tends to have a more profound impact on anything we do. Character traits are fundamentally more important than skill-sets or degrees. Skills certainly help forge character, but it is character that persists despite setbacks and moves forward. Read more!

Finding Strength in Your Weaknesses

We’ve all experienced the most popular interview question ever: “What is your weakness?” About everyone prepares an answer to the question. And there’s certainly no shortage of advice as to how to answer that. I’ve heard answers like: “I’m a perfectionist, and it gets in the way.” Honestly though, I think that question might actually be more useful finding out how genuine someone is more than anything else. However, finding strength in your weaknesses is not only overlooked but often times simply dismissed as unimportant. So why do weaknesses/strengths matter? Let’s find out. Read more!

Chess and Life: The Real Value of Chess

Chess is an incredible game that teaches you many things. With every chess puzzle you struggle to solve, you can learn a little bit more about your own thinking processes, patterns, and biases. As we’ll see, chess can be very helpful in life too. Life unfolds as you make a series of decisions, just like chess. Read more!

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten at School

Going to University offers a lot of benefits. These benefits are of course widely accepted in our society. Education is at the heart of how our society functions. It is who you get to meet, which friends you make, what skills you end up learning, and of course, the diploma. However, the best advice I got at school involved none of these. Read more!

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Gotten at Work

The work culture was great. It was empowering. We had the power to do what needed to be done if we could justify it. We had commitments at the beginning of every week and accountability at the end. Of course, we couldn’t always deliver on our commitments. Whether we committed to reasonable goals was another story. Sometimes I wanted more, sometimes I was pushed for more. But that’s not what the advice was exactly about. Read more!

9 Brewing Principles You Can Apply to Your Life

Brewing is a beautiful process that dates back as far as 5,000 B.C. It is believed to be the first and oldest recipe in human history. It began with ancient Egyptians, later medieval brewers, after with abbey monks, and it continues today by many home brewers and breweries across the world. As brewers learn and become more experienced by brewing many batches and refining their brewing principles, certain patterns begin to emerge. Brewing principles often mimic life and offer valuable insights. Consider the following for a more strategic lifestyle:
Read more!

Doing Nothing: How It Works, and Why It Matters

Queen Elizabeth II: “It doesn’t feel right, as Head of State, to do nothing.”

Queen Mary: “It is exactly right.”

Queen Elizabeth II: “Is it? But surely doing nothing is no job at all?”

Queen Mary: “To do nothing is the hardest job of all. And it will take every ounce of energy that you have.”

-Dialogue is from The Crown TV Series Season 1, Episode 4, 53m:59s Read more!

Parenting and Life

Modernity tries to convince you that having children is not good for the world. Intellectuals have unending arguments about why you shouldn’t have kids. They say: “It’s bad for the environment, humans are destroying the world,” or “We don’t need more poverty in the world,” or “Who wants to deal with a crying baby?” etc. They might be right, but they’re also wrong. Intellectuals always think they know better. Conflating the macro and the micro is not the same thing: whether or not you believe resources are scarce has nothing to do with the parenting experience. No amount of reasoning can help escape the wonders of what parenting brings. Read more!

Quick and Easy Guide to Keep Moving Forward

Often times we feel like we’re stuck. We want to move forward but, you know, it’s just hard. Sometimes I wonder: could moving forward be easier than it seems? Perhaps we overthink matters, or maybe we just complicate the way we approach different situations. Certainly, we might benefit from carefully strategizing a plan of action to solve certain problems. But this insight is not about that. This insight is a quick and easy guide to keep moving forward when every day obstacles keep us stuck and unable to make progress. Read more!

Being and Doing: Why They Can Have a Lasting Impact on Your Life

There is no doubt that understanding what being and doing is, their differences, and how they relate to each other, can have a lasting impact on the quality of your life. We live in an informational era where we are almost exclusively concerned with How-To’s, like how to fix your leaking sink or how to grill salmon. This makes sense because for the first time in history, we have so much access to information, that we can learn most anything and apply a lot of it for our benefit. The fact is that articles that are not How-To just don’t get enough traction. But what about a guideline or a How-To for a fulfilling life? There isn’t one because there’s no step by step on how to live life. Life is too broad, and being tends to be vague and hard to measure.
Read more!